Undergraduate Program

College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Admission Requirements

A minimum of 26 credit hours; 23 credit hours must be in courses acceptable toward graduation.

A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 on all work.

  • Transfer students must have a 2.0 transfer GPA.
  • Continuing UNM students must have a 2.00 institutional GPA.

Demonstrated academic achievement by satisfying the following:

  • Completion of the University Writing and Speaking Core.
  • Completion of the University Mathematics Core.
  • Completion of the University Foreign Language Core.

Completion of Department of Physics and Astronomy admission coursework with grade of "C" or better:

  • PHYC 160.

Additional Information

The basic courses PHYC 160, 160L, 161, 161L, 262, 262L and MATH 162, 163 and 264 are prerequisite to all 300-level and higher physics and astronomy courses, and are required prerequisites for major and minor study in Physics and in Astrophysics for either the B.S. or the B.A. degree. For the B.S. in Astrophysics, ASTR 270, 270L, 271 and 271L are also required.


Major Study Requirements

First year students planning to major or minor in physics or astrophysics, if they have the necessary mathematics, usually take PHYC 160, 160L and MATH 162 in their first semester, and PHYC 161, 161L and MATH 163 in their second semester. There is some flexibility in these prerequisites.

For admission to any degree program in the department, within the College of Arts and Sciences, in any given semester, it is required that the student have passed PHYC 160, or a more advanced physics course, with a grade of C (not C-) or higher.

Academic advisement is required each semester for students majoring in physics or astrophysics. Students in University College with an area of interest or a definite major in mind in this department should meet with a departmental advisor as soon as possible, to ensure that they obtain current curriculum and admissions policies as well as specific advice on how to meet the requirements for admission.

Students are not allowed to receive credit for both PHYC 151 and 160, nor for both PHYC 152 and 161.

The B.S. degrees in Physics and Astrophysics are designed to prepare students to attend graduate school in those fields, and are also intended for students seeking careers which do not require graduate study.

The B.A. degree is designed for people interested in physics, astrophysics and science in general who are not seeking a career in scientific research. Rather, these students should use the flexibility within the program to choose minors or an additional major in other areas, such as management, education, communications, journalism, economics, history, political science, etc.

B.S. in Physics: PHYC 290, **301, **303, **304, **306L, **307L, **330, **366, *405, *406, *491, *492, *493L; and one 3 credit hour Physics course numbered above 300. PHYC 451, *452 and 456 cannot be substituted for the 3 credit hour elective course numbered above 300.
Required supportive courses:
MATH **314, **316; CHEM 121, 123L, 122, and 124L.

B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Biophysics: For the degree of B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Biophysics: PHYC 290, **301, **303, **304, **307L, **330, *405; BIOL 201L, 202L, 203, 203L, 204, 204L. Four electives from, BIOL *425, *429, 436L, 437, 444, 446, 470, 492, 547; BIOC 423; BME 517, 544, 570, (CHEM **301 and 303L), (CHEM **302 and 304L), CHEM **315; CHNE 530; PHYC **302, **302L, *410.
Required supportive courses: MATH 311, **312, **316.

B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Earth and Planetary Sciences: For the degree of B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Earth and Planetary Sciences: PHYC 290, **301, **307L, **303, **304, **330, **366, *405, (EPS 101, 105L) or (ENVS 101, 102L), (PHYC **327 or EPS 436), and four electives from EPS 437, *439, 443, 450L, 457L, 462, 476. Required supportive courses: MATH **314, **316.

B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Optics: For the degree of B.S. in Physics with a concentration in Optics: PHYC 290, **301, **302, **303, **304, *307L, **330, **366, *405, *406. Optics elective number 1: must be chosen as one of PHYC *463, *464; ASTR *426; or ECE *475. Optics elective number 2: must be chosen as one of PHYC *430, *477L, *493L, or 554. In addition, these two electives must be chosen in such a way that one of the Optics electives is either PHYC *430 or ECE 475. Science/Engineering/Math elective number 1: must be at the 200-level or above; Science/Engineering/Math elective number 2: must be at the 300-level or above.
Required supportive courses:
MATH **314, **316; CHEM 121, 123L, 122, 124L.

B.S. in Astrophysics: ASTR *421, *422; PHYC 290, **301, **303, **304, **330, **366, *405, and either *406 or *491; 6 credit hours of Astronomy courses numbered above 399 except for 455 and 456.
Required supportive courses:
MATH **316.

B.A. in Physics and Astrophysics: ASTR 271; PHYC 290, **330; two courses chosen from PHYC **303, **307L or *405; three additional 3 credit hour upper-level courses in Physics or Astronomy, one of which must be in Astronomy, except for any one of the following problems courses: ASTR *455; PHYC *451,* 452.
Required supportive courses:
MATH 311, **316.


Minor Study Requirements

Physics

The two courses PHYC 290, MATH 316; three courses chosen from PHYC 301, 302, 302L or 307L, 303, 304, 330, 405, 406.

Astrophysics

The four courses ASTR 271, PHYC 290, 330, MATH 316; one course chosen from PHYC 301, 302, 302L or 307L, 303, 405; 3 credit hours of Astronomy courses numbered above 399.


Departmental Honors

The Departmental Honors program in Physics and Astronomy is designed to provide additional depth to the student’s knowledge in a special area of contemporary physics, and to ground that knowledge in their understanding of the world around them. As the standard undergraduate curriculum is rather tightly defined and scheduled, the Honors Program allows each Honors Student the opportunity to be directly involved in the choice of an addition to his/her educational program. In addition, the program offers the student the opportunity to work closely with one or two professors.

During each of the last two semesters of the student’s undergraduate program, and upon selecting an original research topic that is developed in consultation with a faculty mentor, the student should register for the 1 credit hour honors course, ASTR/PHYC 456. This registration requires the prior approval of the faculty mentor in question. As an honors award is of a departmental nature, the student and mentor should submit an initial proposal outlining the intended work as early as possible, and certainly before the end of the fourth week of the semester in which the work is begun. The proposal is submitted to the department’s Undergraduate Majors Committee for initial approval.

Successful completion is demonstrated by a final, formal, written thesis as well as oral and poster presentations. Approval of the thesis as achieving the level and standard intended for Honors work is made by a subcommittee of the Undergraduate Majors Committee, thereby providing some uniformity for the department. Finally, the student’s overall grade point average within the major must be 3.25 or greater at the time of graduation.


Courses

ASTR 101. Introduction to Astronomy. (3)



ASTR 101L. Astronomy Laboratory. (1)



ASTR 109. Selected Topics in Astronomy. (3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



ASTR 270. General Astronomy. (3)



ASTR 270L. General Astronomy Laboratory I. (1)



ASTR 271. General Astronomy. (3)



ASTR 271L. General Astronomy Laboratory I. (1)



ASTR *421. Concepts of Astrophysics I. (3)



ASTR *422. Concepts of Astrophysics II. (3)



ASTR *423. Radio Astronomy. (3)



ASTR *426. Optics and Instrumentation. (3)



ASTR *427. Topics in Planetary Astronomy. (3)



ASTR *455. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



ASTR 456. Honors Problems. (1 to a maximum of 2 Δ)



ASTR 536. Advanced Astrophysics I. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



ASTR 537. Advanced Astrophysics II. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC 102. Introduction to Physics. (3)



PHYC 102L. Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 103. Selected Topics in Physics. (3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



PHYC 105. Physics and Society. (3)



PHYC 108. Introduction to Musical Acoustics. (3)



PHYC 108L. Musical Acoustics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 110. Introduction to Applied Physics. (3)



PHYC 151. General Physics. (3)



PHYC 151L. General Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 152. General Physics. (3)



PHYC 152L. General Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 157. Problems in General Physics. (1)



PHYC 158. Problems in General Physics. (1)



PHYC 160. General Physics. (3)



PHYC 160L. General Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 161. General Physics. (3)



PHYC 161L. General Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 167. Problems in General Physics. (1)



PHYC 168. Problems in General Physics. (1)



PHYC 262. General Physics. (3)



PHYC 262L. General Physics Laboratory. (1)



PHYC 267. Problems in General Physics. (1)



PHYC 290. Computational Physics. (3)



PHYC **300. Topics in Physics & Astronomy. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC **301. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. (3)



PHYC **302. Introduction to Photonics. (3)



PHYC **302L. Optics Lab. (3)



PHYC **303. Analytical Mechanics I. (3)



PHYC **304. Analytical Mechanics II. (3)



PHYC **306L [308L]. Junior Laboratory. (3)



PHYC **307L. Junior Laboratory. (3)



PHYC 311. Problems in Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. (1)



PHYC 313. Problems in Analytical Mechanics I. (1)



PHYC 314. Problems in Analytical Mechanics II. (1)



PHYC **327. Geophysics. (3)



PHYC **330. Introduction to Modern Physics. (3)



PHYC 331. Problems in Introduction to Modern Physics. (1)



PHYC **366. Mathematical Methods of Physics. (4)



PHYC *400. Seminar. (1 to a maximum of 3 Δ)



PHYC *405. Electricity and Magnetism I. (3)



PHYC *406. Electricity and Magnetism II. (3)



PHYC *410. Chemistry and Physics at the Nanoscale. (3)



PHYC 415. Problems in Electricity and Magnetism I. (1)



PHYC 416. Problems in Electricity and Magnetism II. (1)



PHYC *430. Introduction to Solid State Physics. (3)



PHYC *450. Introduction to Subatomic Physics. (3)



PHYC 451 / 551. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC *452. Research Methods. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC 456. Honors Problems. (1 to a maximum of 2 Δ)



PHYC *463. Advanced Optics I. (3)



PHYC *464. Laser Physics I. (3)



PHYC *466. Methods of Theoretical Physics I. (3)



PHYC *467. Methods of Theoretical Physics II. (3)



PHYC 468. Problems in Methods of Theoretical Physics I. (1)



PHYC *476L. Experimental Techniques of Optics. (3)



PHYC *477L. Experimental Techniques of Optics. (3)



PHYC 480. Special Topics in Physics and Astronomy. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC *491. Intermediate Quantum Mechanics I. (3)



PHYC *492. Intermediate Quantum Mechanics II. (3)



PHYC *493L. Contemporary Physics Laboratory. (3)



PHYC *495. Theory of Special Relativity. (3)



PHYC 496. Problems in Intermediate Quantum Mechanics I. (1)



PHYC 497. Problems in Intermediate Quantum Mechanics II. (1)



PHYC 500. Advanced Seminar. (1-3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



PHYC 501. Advanced Seminar. (1-3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



PHYC 503. Classical Mechanics I. (3)



PHYC 505. Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics. (3)



PHYC 511. Electrodynamics. (3)



PHYC 521. Graduate Quantum Mechanics I. (3)



PHYC 522. Graduate Quantum Mechanics II. (3)



PHYC 523. Quantum Field Theory I. (3)



PHYC 524. Quantum Field Theory II. (3)



PHYC 529. Condensed Matter I. (3)



PHYC 531. Atomic and Molecular Structure. (3)



PHYC 534. Plasma Physics I. (3)



PHYC 535. Plasma Physics II. (3)



PHYC 536. Advanced Astrophysics I. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC 542. Particle Physics I. (3)



PHYC 545. Introduction to Cosmic Radiation. (3)



PHYC 551 / 451. Problems. (1-4 to a maximum of 16 Δ)



PHYC 552. Problems. (1-4 to a maximum of 16 Δ)



PHYC 554. Advanced Optics II. (3)



PHYC 559. Internship in Optical Science and Engineering. (3)



PHYC 566. Quantum Optics. (3)



PHYC 568. Nonlinear Optics. (3)



PHYC 569. Advanced Topics in Modern Optics. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



PHYC 570. Theory of Relativity. (3)



PHYC 571. Quantum Computation. (3)



PHYC 572. Quantum Information Theory. (3)



PHYC 580. Advanced Plasma Physics. (3)



PHYC 581. Advanced Topics in Physics and Astrophysics. (3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



PHYC 599. Master's Thesis. (1-6, no limit Δ)



PHYC 650. Research. (1-12 to a maximum of 24 Δ)



PHYC 699. Dissertation. (3-12, no limit Δ)



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